The future of systems, man, and cybernetics: Application domains and research methods

Keith W. Hipel, Mo M. Jamshidi, James M. Tien, Chelsea C. White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Several important application areas that will dominate systems, man, and cybernetic (SMC) efforts for at least the next decade, together with the methods that will require further research and development in order to appropriately address these application domains, are considered herein. More specifically, four broad and pervasive system domains are examined: service systems, infrastructure and transportation systems, environmental and energy systems, and defense and space systems. Given the nature of these four application domains, a number of new systems [i.e., holistic-oriented, including system-of-systems (SoS)], man (i.e., decision-oriented, including decision informatics), and cybernetic (i.e., adaptive-oriented, including real-time control) methods are identified and their further development are discussed. Clearly, the IEEE Society on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics has a great future; its systems, man, and cybernetic methods are relevant for addressing challenging problems arising in system domains that are becoming dominant in this 21st century. However, the methods must be refined and expanded to meet the changing needs of the 21st century; from a system to a system-of-systems vision, from a disciplinary to a multidisciplinary outlook, from a mass production to a mass customization focus, from a steady state to a real-time perspective, and from an optimal to an adaptive approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)726-743
Number of pages18
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part C: Applications and Reviews
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Cybernetics
  • Decision informatics
  • Defense systems
  • Energy systems
  • Environmental systems
  • Infrastructure systems
  • Real-time control
  • Service systems
  • Space systems
  • System-of-systems (SoS)
  • Transportation systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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